Senate Confirms First Black Leader of Military Branch, Considers Bipartisan Bill Addressing Public Lands Maintenance Backlog
How do you feel about this week’s congressional schedule?
by Countable | 6.12.20
What’s happening in Congress?
- The Senate reconvenes Monday for a work week that will start with consideration of a bipartisan bill to address a roughly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance at National Parks & other public lands.
- After that, it may consider the nomination of a judge to fill an upcoming vacancy on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- The Senate begins its work Monday with a cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the consideration of the Great American Outdoors Act, which is a bipartisan bill to use revenue from energy development on public lands to address the $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance at National Parks & other public lands. It's using a legislative vehicle formerly known as the Taxpayer First Act (which enacted as a different bill) to move the package.
- Cloture motions are procedural votes that limit additional debate to either 30 hours for legislation, nominees to Cabinet posts, and Supreme Court & Circuit Court judicial nominees; or two hours for lower-level nominees. Cloture motions on legislation require a three-fifths majority to successfully invoke cloture, while cloture motions on nominations require a simple majority. Once post-cloture time expires or the Senate agrees to waive the remaining time, a vote on final passage or confirmation occurs.
- Monday’s cloture vote requires 60 votes to succeed and invoke cloture, which would clear the way for a vote on the motion to proceed (which requires a simple majority) and potentially another cloture motion prior to final passage of the bill.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is also expected to file cloture on the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to serve as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Walker is currently a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky, and was confirmed to that position last October. If confirmed, he join the D.C. Circuit following a judge's retirement in September 2020. A confirmation vote could occur as early as this week or next week depending on the timing of the cloture vote.
- The Senate may also take up the confirmation of General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. to be Air Force Chief of Staff. He previously served as commander of the Pacific Air Forces, deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, and commanded a fighter squadron, the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, plus two fighter wings. In his service he earned numerous awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star. If confirmed he would be the first African American to lead a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Committees will hold several hearings related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the law enforcement response to fraudulent actors exploiting the pandemic, federal procurement & distribution strategies, the role of unemployment insurance, going back to school safely, and social isolation’s impact on seniors.
- The House is on recess this week, and isn’t scheduled to reconvene for floor votes until Tuesday, June 30th, although it could return for floor votes with 72 hours of notice. It has held floor votes for only four days this spring.
- Committees will hold remote hearings on policing practices & law enforcement accountability, in addition to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on transportation workers and inclusive banking.
Check below throughout the week to see the vote results and updates to the schedule.
Schedule subject to change. All times Eastern.
Monday after 5:30pm
Tuesday after 2:15pm
- Confirmation of Gen. Charles Brown to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Confirmed 98-0.
Wednesday after 12:15pm
- Motion to proceed to H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act Agreed to 79-18.
- Consideration of H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act
Friday after 1am
- Cloture motion on H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act Invoked 65-19.
Next Week (tentative)
- Motion to waive all applicable Budget Act points of order on H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act
- Adoption of the Gardner substitute amendment to H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act
- Passage of H.R. 1957: Great American Outdoors Act
- Cloture motion on the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
- Confirmation vote on the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
- The House is scheduled to return for its next votes on Tuesday, June 30th. Votes may be held sooner with 72 hours of notice for lawmakers.
Tell your reps how to vote on this week's bills and share your thoughts below!
— Eric Revell
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